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An optimum multiparameter mixing analysis of the shelf waters in the Ross Sea

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 February 2003

G. BUDILLON
Affiliation:
Universitá di Napoli “Parthenope”, Istituto di Meteorologia e Oceanografia, Via De Gasperi 5, 80133 Napoli, Italy
M. PACCIARONI
Affiliation:
Universitá di Napoli “Parthenope”, Istituto di Meteorologia e Oceanografia, Via De Gasperi 5, 80133 Napoli, Italy
S. COZZI
Affiliation:
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto Sperimentale Talassografico, Via Gelsi 2, 34123 Trieste, Italy
P. RIVARO
Affiliation:
Universitá di Genova, Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Via Dodecanneso 31, 16146 Genova, Italy
G. CATALANO
Affiliation:
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto Sperimentale Talassografico, Via Gelsi 2, 34123 Trieste, Italy
C. IANNI
Affiliation:
Universitá di Genova, Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Via Dodecanneso 31, 16146 Genova, Italy
C. CANTONI
Affiliation:
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto Sperimentale Talassografico, Via Gelsi 2, 34123 Trieste, Italy

Abstract

The analysis of the mixing processes involving water masses on the Ross Sea continental shelf is one of the goals of the CLIMA project (Climatic Long-term Interactions for the Mass balance in Antarctica). This paper uses extended Optimum MultiParameter analysis (OMP), which is applied to four datasets collected during the cruises of 1994/95, 1995/96, 1997/98 and 2000/01 in the Ross Sea (Antarctica). Data include both hydrological, (temperature, salinity, and pressure; T, S, and P, respectively) and chemical parameters (O2, Si(OH)4, PO4, and NO3+NO2). The OMP analysis is based on the assumption that the mixing is a linear process which affects all parameters equally so that each sample shows physical/chemical properties that are the result of the mixing of some properly selected Source Water Types (SWTs). OMP thus evaluates the best set of contributions by all SWTs to each sample, and allows the spatial distribution and structure of the water masses in a basin to be evaluated. Ocean circulation may subsequently be inferred by means of a deeper analysis of the spreading of the water mass. In this study, the “real” Redfield ratios observed in the Ross Sea were used to correct the equations referring to the chemical parameters in accordance with the extended version of OMP. The solutions include some physically realistic constraints. The results allow a detailed description of the water mass distribution, validated through comparison with some “canonical” thermohaline characteristics of the Ross Sea hydrology. In particular our results verify the spreading of the HSSW over the entire continental shelf and emphasize the key role it plays in the ventilation of the deep waters outside the Ross Sea. In addition a description is given of the intrusion of relatively warm waters coming from the open ocean and flowing at some specific locations at the continental shelf break.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Antarctic Science Ltd 2003

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